Summer 2022

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T he Hollywood Bowl — site of the 1980 Screen Actors Guild Emergency Fund An Evening of Stars strike benefit — celebrates its 100th year in 2022. Los Angeles Times music and drama critic Edwin Schallert was present on the Bowl's official opening day on July 11, 1922. He reviewed it for the next day's Times and returned home to wife Elza and 5-day-old son, William Schallert. Fifty-eight years later, as An Evening of Stars opened at the Bowl on Sept. 16, 1980, William Schallert addressed the crowd as president of SAG. The joint SAG and AFTRA TV/Theatrical strike had begun on July 21, 1980, and, as weeks passed, the SAG Emergency Fund started running low — even AFTRA donated funds to help. Co-sponsored with the American Federation of Musicians and scripted by Carl Gottlieb, co-screenwriter of Jaws, An Evening of Stars speakers and performers included Alan Alda, Loni Anderson, Ed Asner, Irene Cara, Billy Crystal, Erik Estrada, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, James Garner, Larry Hagman, Howard Hesseman, Charlton Heston, Waylon Jennings, Melissa Manchester, Kent McCord, Marlo Thomas, Lily Tomlin, Cicely Tyson, Jon Voight, Robin Williams and Henry Winkler. A tentative agreement with producers was reached on Sept. 25. President Schallert summed up the successful "Evening" and how it benefited needy members in a thank-you letter to a union donor: "We began the strike with less than $30,000 in our Emergency Fund … [and] we raised a total of close to $300,000. After 10 full weeks of strike, we have dispensed of all of it — on a case-by-case basis, in modest amounts, to individual members (about 50 a day), primarily to save their houses or automobiles or pay essential medical bills or the like." In short, An Evening of Stars was a hit! SAG-AFTRA ARCHIVES BOWL-ING FOR THE STRIKE Clockwise from top left, Robin Williams, Lily Tomlin, Billy Crystal and Sally Field onstage at An Evening of Stars on Sept. 16, 1980. Right, an event program. 68 SAG-AFTRA | Summer 2022 |

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